What To Do When Your Kid Won’t Sleep (from an imperfect mama who is definitely not a sleep expert)

What To Do When Your Kid Won’t Sleep (from an imperfect mama who is definitely not a sleep expert)featured


This post is not meant to tell you how to get your kid to sleep.  There are lots of good websites out there simply full of good sleep advice.  Just Google it.

Rather, this post is meant to encourage you and give you hope when you feel like you have tried everything you know to do to get your kid to sleep better and nothing’s working — when you feel completely helpless and exhausted!

For me, having a kid that fights sleep has been one of the toughest things on me emotionally and mentally. I feel like such a whiner even thinking that way, because of all the much bigger problems people face every day. I have to be honest though, and that’s the honest truth.

This advice comes at my breaking point, when I’ve tried everything I can think of with little man lately (almost three years old now) and nothing’s working. I’m on kid #3 here… You’d think I’d have it figured out by now.  I had him sleep trained pretty good at one point, but now… well… he’s not.  And he’s very strong-willed.

This is new ground for me, because my girls were both sleeping fine at this age. Little buddy’s not in a crib anymore, meaning if he just wants to get up out of bed and walk down the hallway there’s nothing to stop him.  And don’t suggest a baby gate.  Yep — tried that.  I put a baby gate up in his doorway so at least he’d stay in his room.  He knocked it down.  And the second time when my husband put it up a little higher he just climbed over it.  But I’m rambling now.

Let’s get on with the good advice, because that my friends is why you’re reading this.  And yes, I do have some great ideas to share that have really helped me to go from hopeless to hopeful when things have gotten tough. 🙂


Here are 7 tips to help you out when your kid just won’t sleep.

1- Pray the Word
There are 3 great verses I like to hang onto that pertain to sleeping well.  I hung them on the wall in Isaac’s room so I’d remember to read and pray them. As I was praying them over Isaac one recent night, I realized that they also applied to me.  God has promised to give us mamas rest and peaceful sleep… just hang on. 🙂
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. – Proverbs 3:24 NKJV
…God gives rest to his loved ones. – Psalm 127:2 NLT
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. – Psalm 4:8 NLT
2 – Trust that your kid is gonna be okay (and so are you).
Know that this too shall pass. I’m pretty sure that by the time you’re reading this, Isaac will be over his temporary sleep strike. We WILL get through this, and sleep will meet mama with open arms on the other side. (Lol… And then the new baby will be here.)
3 – Pray and sing while rocking your little.
If your little one still gets rocked at night, take that time to sing worship songs or pray. You’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.
4 – Say no to fear and anxiety. 
I know I have a tendency to become fearful and anxious when I can’t get my little to sleep.  I know that if I don’t get to sleep, I won’t be able to function to full capacity.  (I just don’t do well on NO sleep.) However, staying in that anxious mode just makes things harder for me and my little.  I’ve found that doing some of these other things help me to stay out of the fear zone. 🙂
5 – Laugh.
Laughter does good like a medicine, and the joy of the Lord will be your strength.  Ask God to give you the gift of laughter in the midst of the struggle. The struggle is real, but JOY will help you break through any fear, anxiety, or other negative emotions and give you hope.
6 – Pray for other moms in the same situation.
I already mentioned praying, but here’s a more specific tip.  Pray for other moms that are going through the same thing.  It will help you remember that you are not alone!
7 – Give yourself grace.
During times where sleep is fleeting, give yourself grace during the day.  You may not be able to accomplish everything that you’ve planned.  (Thus, the reason this post is a week later than planned.) You may need to nap (if possible).  Give yourself a break, be realistic, and ask for God’s help in doing what must be done… hopefully with a smile.
Blessings to you, mama! You can do this!

About the author


Tasha Medellin is a head-over-heels-in-love wife and not-so-perfect mother of three who loves spending time outdoors, curling up with a good book, and simply basking in the riches of God's glorious grace.

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